Fabric Shop Memories, Part II

by melissa on January 24, 2013

Today’s the day!! Fabric stores all over the globe (we hope) will be mobbed by adoring fans who just wanna share the love (and buy a few yards). Today, as we all celebrate Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, we continue the staff conversation about our memories of fabric shops and more:

What’s your earliest fabric-shop memory?

“My mom sewed and I remember going with her to the fabric shops and getting to pick out searsucker for a shift she was making me. it was Princess Fabrics in Van Nuys. (Great name, right?) Then, when I started sewing my own clothes in junior high, we were lucky enough to have a fabric store within walking distance. I used to go in and daydream.”–Vicki Tymczyszyn

“I distinctly remember shopping for fabric with my mom in the early ’70s. I am pretty sure it was JCPenney in Everett, Washington. It was a department store setting and I remember the fabric all lying flat and folded. I don’t recall actual cardboard bolt forms in the centers of the fabric, but there might have been. I remember picking out fabric for clothes with Mom. She made most of my shirts at the time. She didn’t like making boy’s pants because they were ‘too complicated’ for her tastes, she said.–Scott Hansen

What’s your strangest fabric-buying experience?

Oh, I just have to share my Parisian fabric! Now, I have never been to Paris. My mom planned a trip and I decided to send her on a fabric-buying excursion. (From my story a few days ago about fabric-shopping in New York, you can guess that she didn’t mind). So, I started searching online for fabric stores in Paris. This was in the late 1990s, so there was online fabric shopping, but not like today. I found a shop online called Le Rouvray (http://www.lerouvray.com/ ) that had fabric swatches online. I wrote down directions, fabric descriptions, yardage (in meters of course!) and gave my mother the money to purchase what I wanted. She still laughs about the 25 meters of fabric that she needed to get through U.S. Customs. Yeah, I owed her more when she got back… I forgot about tariffs.– Tracy Mooney

Tracy's haul from Le Rouvray, courtesy of her mom.

What’s the weirdest piece of fabric in your stash?

“My fabric collection is vast, and when I was asked to pick my ‘weirdest’ piece of fabric, I first thought of the fabric that I bought for an ‘ugliest fabric ever’ exchange I was part of years ago. Couldn’t find it. But I could describe it to you.  It was a mustard-y gold with many Byzantine-style buildings on it crammed on top of each other.  And though it was supposed to be ugly, it kinda grew on me, and now I love it.  Also in that swap, I received a brown and orange plaid, veryPartridge Family-ish.  LOVED it!!

“In pawing through my fabric,  I also found another strange, but wonderful, fabric that I love. It has sort of a fruit-growing theme in plum, orange and black on a white background , and it came in a scrap box from a relative of a friend going into a nursing home.  I am pretty sure it is a ’30s or ’40s print, and I love it just because it is so unusual!”--Scott Hansen

From the depths of Scott's "vast" stash, an unusual, but cherished cut.

So, Q-bies, we’d love to hear  your memories of fabric shopping, or about your fave weird cut or most unusual place you’ve bought fabric. And don’t forget  to join the crowd at your LQS today! (P.S. While you’re there, ask them if they carry Generation Q. And if they don’t, well, you know what to do…)


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

elsa Identicon Icon elsa January 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

I lived in Thailand for a while in the late 80′s early 90′s and had just learned how to quilt. I ordered some batting from a store I knew about in California. I think it was about $25. for the batting. When it came to customs the officers there didn’t know what the heck it was and we ended up paying $100. just to get it. Needless to say, my husband was a tad bit mad at me and I never got to have any batting sent again. I did have some good friends in the company that my husband worked for and when they would come to visit, they’d bring me some. That was so nice of them!


Cornelia Gauger Identicon Icon Cornelia Gauger January 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

One of my funnier LQS moments happened many years ago at Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue, WA. My bestie and I were browsing through some bolts of fabric that were seriously crammed onto their round display table. I pulled a bolt out to get a closer look and the next thing I knew, several bolts started to come down. I instantly threw my arms wide to catch them, but they kept falling like dominoes! The bolts in front of my friend started to “go” as well and she did the same thing. So there we were, arms wide hanging on to these bolts of fabric for dear life! We were in a far corner of the store, so we had to call for help-this is difficult to do when you are laughing so hard, you’re crying (and trying not to pee your pants). The employee who came to help thought we were nut jobs (she’s right, I suppose) for not just letting them fall.


karenthequilter Identicon Icon karenthequilter January 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I just dropped some $ at my LQS – Gathering Fabric in Woodinville, WA. Lovely way to spend a lunch break!

Regarding your post – I’ve been to LeRouvray! Just a few blocks from Notre Dame. I didn’t buy 25 metres, but did find some beautiful local fabrics to stuff in my suitcase. Thanks for the reminder – I still haven’t done anything with it.


quiltzyx/sue Identicon Icon quiltzyx/sue January 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I went to visit my sister in Australia & of course we had to go to some fabric shops. The strangest thing, almost every single piece of fabric I picked up was from…wait for it…..HERE! I did manage to find one fabric that was made in Singapore, but never did find any made in Australia.
The strangest fabric in my stash is a piece that is crowded with corn on the cob, with a light green background!


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